The Mailmum

You know this little online diary of ours is all about keeping you posted on the little stuff along with the big (and the bad and the ugly along with the good). So file this under small but good. Remember our little petunia-fied mailbox? Well, it went from this in June

…to this in August

…to this in October:

Womp- womppppp.

The petunias were annuals so they weren’t gonna last forever. And between rain washing out a lot of the mulch and the flowers thinning to a scraggly looking vine mess… yeah, it was ugly. But wait, we’ll get to the “good” in a minute.

Fortunately I was able to pull them out with virtually no effort. Note: Some of these pics were taken before we removed/transplanted a bunch of bushes here – you’ll see why we waited to post about this a few photos down)

We had actually just received a Home Depot coupon in the mail for “Buy 2 Mums, Get 1 Free” (we signed up for some free garden club a few years back so we get random coupons every once in a while). Sadly we didn’t get that coupon before purchasing our porch mums a few weeks back, but oh well – we decided to put it to good use in another place. The mailbox o’ tumbleweeds. So $14 later we had three sunny yellow mums out front. And yes, Sir Squirrel is chilling out right in the middle of them (more on him here).

Even though the mums are perennials, we’re so happy with how the petunias filled in the space over the summer that we’ll probably plop some of those back in come springtime (and just transplant these guys so we can enjoy them somewhere else). But we’re loving the autumn look for now.

What weren’t we loving? The washing out problem that we’d been battling after every big rain. See the weed blocking fabric that’s completely exposed next to the drainage grate on the right? In the words of my wife: reeeeal claaaassy.

The drain worked well most of the time, but heavy rains overload it and, well, you get the idea. So I borrowed some stones leftover from the patio project (they used to line those rows of liriope that we removed here) to build a little stacked stone wall beside the mum-bed. Things are looking up, right?

We have since had two big rains (we waited to post about it to be sure it wasn’t an epic fail) and we’re happy to report that it kept the water from whisking away the dirt with it. So… victory!

It doesn’t look half bad if you ask me. Although of course those mums could use some filling in, sort of like our petunias back when we planted those. Heck, now that we have the little stacked stone wall, maybe we’ll add more plants to really fill it up come spring. And hopefully we’ll straighten and paint the wooden mailbox post then too.

Did anyone else do any quick outdoor updates for fall? Were they mum related? Or stone related? Or ceramic squirrel related?

Oh and Sherry promised more pics of the feather wreath that some of you noticed from afar on the door in this post, so here we go. It’s just an old black feather wreath from JoAnn (picked up after last Halloween on super clearance- maybe it was $8?). Sherry lazily placed it over the door knocker (didn’t even bother hanging it) and called it a day. That’s my girl.

Sherry also meant to toss the three remaining black spiders that we had (from this post) into the yellow mums for more black-on-yellow action before snapping these pics but completely forgot. But she was sure to do that before those cute little trick or treaters came a-knocking yesterday evening. The ones who noticed seemed to love spiders as much as Clara (more on that here). So yeah. Good times going on at the mailbox and the front door. Although we could definitely use a new doormat (or at least a new stenciled paint job over our current one). How about you?

Psst- You can check out how we painted our front door yellow here and ORBed the handle & doorknocker here.


  1. says

    Love the Mail Box spruce up! You should totally paint mailbox a snazzy colour rather than the norm. Would look lovely red! :)
    I love the feather wreath! it looks eery!
    We didn’t get any trick or treaters as they cant get into our block of apartments! haha
    We watched the Shrek and Monsters VS Aliens Halloween dvd’s because its ok for a 30 year old and a 24year old to do this whilst eating sooooo many sweets you feel sick right?! haha

  2. says

    I have never had mums survive. I always assumed they were annuals. Maybe here in NY they just can’t survive the winter.

    I took in my begonias and little tiny potted pine tree and potted junipers before the snow storm came. I think I may try to keep the begonias alive over the winter. They are so pretty, why let them die?

    LOVE my black feather wreathe that we have, but sadly I don’t put it outside because we have no overhang. I don’t want to ruin it. I put it on the wall next to our door on the inside. Still looks great. :) The front door has a glowing skeleton on it. I hate to take him down now that Halloween is done!

    • says

      Maybe mums only live if they’re planted in the ground and not in pots (since they are exposed a bit more in pots)? Either that or it’s one of those location differences since NY has more deep freezes!


    • Alicia says

      I am looking through comments to see if I can figure out why my Mum isn’t looking good either. I live in SC so I would think it’s not weather related. I haven’t taken it out of the pot so that has to be it. I wanted to make sure it was worth the effort and would revive itself before I went to all that trouble!

  3. says

    I love the mums on your porch, but they make me think of your huge spider.
    I guess being creeped out is pretty appropriate for the season.

  4. says

    I think it looks great! Love the sunny, yellow mums! I made a feather wreath similar to yours, just took 2 black feather boas and wrapped it around a metal wreath form (or any type of metal form). The boas were actually leftover Halloween costumes so it was free!

  5. Grace says

    This isn’t ceramic squirrel related, just plain old squirrel related. This is a youtube video of our pet squirrel that we raised from being a motherless baby to a fully independent, runs-around-the-backyard squirrel.

  6. Jennifer says

    I just bought the same feather wreath at Michael’s with a trusty 40% off coupon! I love it :) I also painted our pumpkins black and used white puff paint to decorate…the trick or treaters were more interested in our black pumpkins than the candy…thanks for the idea last year!

    • says

      Aw man! So sorry to give you nightmares! We haven’t seen Charlotte in a while (it has been pretty cold so maybe she moseyed off to find someplace warmer?


  7. says

    Love all of it! The stone looks fantastic! And the yellow is so great! Lowes had the BIGGEST pots of mums this year got one for my front my yellow door of course! Happy Fall!!
    Also…this may be an over share BUT our home projects have been totally in sync (not to be confused with NSync…you know you went there.. ;) lately….we finish one and I report to the husband “YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT YHL JUST DID TOO!” makes me feel famous! For the record…THAT cork was my vote for our kitchen floor too! It may have been vetoed by my husband (too dark for his approval..Crazy) but I still love it! Cant wait to see it in your kitchen! Love it!

  8. Donita says

    You probably already know this, but you can actually get mums to bloom twice a year. My mom taught me, to cut them back to just a few inches after the fall bloom. If you keep them in a warm place, garage, basement, and water them once a month, they will actually bloom in the Spring. I usually do not plant mine in the ground, so I can get a Spring bloom out of them. I had some that actually lasted for several years. Then forgot to water them, or was out of town and they died. Just a little tip, if you didn’t already know. ;-) Love those yellow mums from Home Depot.

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